RENOVATE WITH CARE

DIY is on the rise with the number of home owners doing renovations increasing from 57 to 62 per cent over the last three years, according to Roy Morgan Research.

Some 8.4million home owners did renovations in the last 12 months, with minor repairs/alterations being the most popular, followed by painting.

But before you rush down to the local DIY store to buy an angle grinder and do major renos, make sure you know what you’re doing and take safety precautions, because the number of people hospitalised with DIY-related injuries is also rising.

DIY workshops

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed that over a 12-month period, almost 100 Australians lost a finger or toe when using a power saw, woodwork machinery or lawnmower and 1262 sustained a fracture after falling off a ladder.

Nearly 900 people suffered power tool-related injuries.

“Hospitalised DIY fall injuries most often involved the trunk (31 percent) but also commonly involved the limbs (shoulders and arms 20 percent, hip, thigh and legs 19 percent) and the head and neck (19 percent),” stated the AIHW report.

People aged between 65-74 suffered the most injuries.

Handyman magazine managing editor Daniel Butkovich says people should consider doing a basic training course if they are unsure about using power tools.

“Ensure that you know how to use power tools correctly and safely,” he says.

“Thoroughly read the manual to be aware of any potential hazards.

“If you are still unsure, consider undertaking a basic course on woodworking.

“Most Bunnings stores offer free DIY workshops every weekend covering a variety of topics.

“Steer clear of electrical work if you are not a qualified electrician—not only is it illegal, but it’s also incredibly dangerous.

“Ladders can be a major cause of injuries—always set ladders up on a flat, stable surface and maintain three points of contact at any one time e.g. two feet and one hand.

“Never climb above the second last rung and never straddle an A-frame ladder.”

RMR chief executive officer Michele Levine says renovation TV shows are inspiring home owners to hit the DIY store.

“With hugely popular reality TV series like The Block and House Rules inspiring DIY fervour among Aussie audiences and home ownership rising despite inflated property prices, hardware and home improvement retailers and tradespeople stand to benefit from this booming market,” he says.

“Even bearing in mind that the number of people who own or are paying off a home has grown by 400,000 since 2013, the trend towards domestic improvement is still trending upwards.

“As our data also shows, home-owners who have been at the same address for a year or less tend to be more inclined to undertake renovations, alterations or repairs than people who’ve been at their address for longer.

“This suggests that they have recently purchased and moved into a home previously owned by someone else, and are making their own mark on it. It’s not that renovation activity plummets once they’ve been in their home for a while, but that first year is particularly active.”

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